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Jan 6, 2024

Photochemistry and a new catalyst could make fertilizer more sustainable

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, sustainability

Georgia Tech engineers are working to make fertilizer more sustainable—from production to productive reuse of the runoff after application—and a pair of new studies is offering promising avenues at both ends of the process.

In one paper, researchers have unraveled how , water, carbon, and light can interact with a catalyst to produce ammonia at and pressure, a much less energy-intensive approach than current practice. The second paper describes a stable catalyst able to convert waste back into nonpolluting nitrogen that could one day be used to make new fertilizer.

Significant work remains on both processes, but the senior author on the papers, Marta Hatzell, said they’re a step toward a more sustainable cycle that still meets the needs of a growing worldwide population.

Jan 5, 2024

Building A Sustainable Future for Concrete with Concretene

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

Unless it is augmented with graphene, watching concrete dry might not be the most thrilling activity. Graphene was initially isolated in 2004 by scientists at The University of Manchester and has become iconic in materials research, with applications ranging from energy storage and water filtering to transportation and construction, including concrete.

A new future for cement is being facilitated by graphene. Soon, everyone will have the option to select the color, texture, and features that they want very soon. More significantly, though, and even more so than its practicality and beauty, the increasing global sustainability movement is rekindling interest in the possibilities of concrete enriched with graphene.

The building sector is confronted with a plethora of obstacles in light of Net Zero aims, and a viable path toward progress could be through the extensive integration of cutting-edge materials. Cement production accounts for 8–10% of worldwide CO2 emissions, making it one of the industries with the largest carbon footprints.

Jan 5, 2024

Scientists Drilling Into Magma Chamber for Potentially Unlimited Energy

Posted by in category: energy

The project in Iceland will be the first ever attempt of drilling straight into the incredibly hard to find magma beneath the Earth’s surface.

Jan 5, 2024

QuantumScape’s solid-state batteries pass latest test, could offer 500,000 km without range loss

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics, sustainability

One year after initial deliveries of solid-state battery prototypes to its automotive partners, QuantumScape is receiving additional praise from PowerCo – the battery-centric subsidiary of Volkswagen Group – for the potential of its technology. PowerCo recently completed an endurance test with QuantumScape’s solid-state cells and determined they can someday power EVs that can drive 500,000 kilometers with virtually no loss of range.

QuantumScape ($QS) is an advanced battery technology company that has been working for over a decade to develop scalable, energy-dense solid-state battery cells that can one-day power EVs that are safer, charge faster, and drive farther.

During QuantumScape’s tenure in solid-state battery development, Volkswagen Group has been a partner from early on and remains one of the startup’s largest investors. OEMs like Volkswagen have helped empower QuantumScape to continue its development and deliver some of the most promising solid-state battery technology in the industry.

Jan 5, 2024

Controlling the Size, Composition and Dispersion of Metal Nanoparticles

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

Nanoparticles seem the future of electronics, at least until the next big thing.


Nano-engineered oxides are very important for the development of next-generation catalysts and microelectronics. Recently, metal exsolution from oxides has emerged as a promising nano-structuring tool to fabricate nanoparticle-decorated oxides. However, controlling the size, density, composition, and location of exsolved nanoparticles remains a challenge, limiting the ultimate performance achievable by these nanostructures.

The following nanoparticle production control was achieved: 1. ion sputtering can controllably reduce the size of surface exsolved nanoparticles down to 2 nm, which are among the smallest values reported in the literature thus far. 2. implanted metal ions can tailor the composition of nanoparticles exsolved both at the surface and in the bulk, providing a convenient and direct way to synthesize exsolved nanoparticles with alloyed compositions. 3. irradiation-induced lattice defects can catalyze the nucleation of nanoparticles, and this enables controlling the density and location of exsolved nanoparticles at specific sample locations using ion irradiation.

Continue reading “Controlling the Size, Composition and Dispersion of Metal Nanoparticles” »

Jan 5, 2024

Breaking Astrophysical Boundaries: LST-1 Discovers Most Distant High-Energy AGN

Posted by in categories: energy, space

LST-1’s discovery of the distant quasar OP 313 at high energies marks a milestone in astronomy, highlighting the telescope’s advanced capabilities in exploring the farthest reaches of the universe.

On December 15, the Large-Sized Telescope (LST) Collaboration announced through an Astronomer’s Telegram (ATel) the detection of the source OP 313 at very high energies with the LST-1. Although OP 313 was known at lower energies, it had never been detected above 100 GeV, making this the LST-1’s first scientific discovery. With these results, OP 313 becomes the most distant Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) ever detected by a Cherenkov telescope, further showcasing the LST prototype’s exceptional performance while it is being commissioned on the CTAO-North site on the island of La Palma, Spain.

The Nature and Observation of OP 313.

Jan 3, 2024

Kinetic energy weapon can break a US tank apart with single shot: Chinese study

Posted by in category: energy

Simulations have shown that a high-speed kinetic weapon weighing 20kg could stop an enemy tank in its tracks.

Jan 3, 2024

The 100-year-old renewable energy source you’ve probably never heard of

Posted by in category: energy

Ocean thermal energy conversion makes use of the difference in temperatures between the warm surface of the oceans and the deeper cold waters.

Jan 3, 2024

ABJ: Tesla expands to suburb northeast of Austin as footprint grows

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, energy, sustainability, transportation

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) — Tesla Inc.’s growing footprint in the Austin area now includes a sizable facility in Hutto. But what it’s for remains unclear.

The Austin Business Journal visited the 36,000-square-foot site at 200 County Road 199 in the fast-growing industrial hub northeast of Austin in late December. The parking lot was full and a nondescript warehouse-style building was bustling with employees in construction vests and helmets, but there were no signs listing any companies and no clear indications of who was occupying it. The only traces it could be Tesla were a handful of the company’s electric vehicle charging stations out front.

But Elon Musk’s EV manufacturing and clean energy company is linked to the site in state filings, and it has been confirmed by Hutto officials. Tesla’s expansion to Hutto underscores the company’s wide-reaching plans for the region — as far south as San Antonio and, now, as far north as Hutto — as it continues buildout of its multibillion-dollar operation in eastern Travis County. The Hutto site is about 30 miles directly north of its gigafactory, which serves as the company’s headquarters, along State Highway 130.

Jan 2, 2024

Coronal mass ejection from colossal New Year’s Eve solar flare will strike Earth today

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Earth will be struck today by a coronal mass ejection from a huge solar flare that erupted from the sun on New Year’s Eve.

The New Year’s Eve flare created a CME, a huge bubble of plasma from a region of the sun called the corona, which is equivalent to the sun’s outer atmosphere, and this has an Earth-directed component. Though this massive ejection of plasma will only graze the magnetic bubble surrounding our planet Tuesday (Jan. 2), the magnetosphere, it could trigger a geomagnetic storm that could affect communications and power infrastructure.

The coronal mass ejection CME was hurled into space by an X-class solar flare that burst from the surface of the sun at 4:55 p.m. EST (2155 GMT) on Sunday (Dec. 31). It is the most powerful flare that has happened on the sun during the current solar cycle, solar cycle 25, which began in Dec. 2019. In fact, the flare that ended 2023 with a bang is the largest that has been observed since Sept. 10, 2017, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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